Rebecca Macklin

Rebecca Macklin


I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leeds and teach on a range of modules in the School of English and the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies. My research draws together Indigenous, postcolonial and world literature discourses, to comparatively explore transnational engagements with conditions of coloniality and literary articulations of decolonial resistance. In addition, I am research assistant on a project focused on the socio-economic implications of the transition to renewable energy systems in rural Indonesia, working with Professor Jon Lovett in the School of Geography. From 2017-18, I was a Fulbright Visiting Researcher in English at Cornell University, where I worked with Professor Eric Cheyfitz and was affiliated with the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program. 

I am currently writing a monograph informed by my PhD thesis. As the first substantive comparative study of contemporary Native American and South African fiction, this focuses on a range of novels including texts by Louise Erdrich, Thomas King, Leslie Marmon Silko, Zoë Wicomb, Zakes Mda, and K. Sello Duiker. My work is animated by the need to move beyond disciplinary boundaries that prioritise a focus on the nation, or narrow definitions of indigeneity, in order to understand how authors utilize the novel as a form through which to reveal and disrupt the colonial logics that underpin the capitalist world-system. My PhD research was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and is associated with the Major Research Project “Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary World Literatures”.

My post-doctoral research is focused on cultural narratives of gender, violence and the extractive industries. At Leeds, I am involved with a number of different research groups and am co-founder of the Postcolonial and World Literature and Cultures Reading Group. I have been involved in the organization of a number of events, workshops and conferences, including a conversation between Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge and authors Zoë Wicomb and Yousif M. Qasmiyeh in June 2018 as part of the 'Archives of Resistance' conference; the 2018 Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies lecture with Professor Jennifer Wenzel on 'Reading for the Planet: Environmental Crisis and World Literature'; and the 2018 Race and Resistance lecture with Professor Carole Boyce Davies on ''Decolonizing Discourses and African Literary Studies'.

Prior to my PhD, I worked in academic publishing, working with branches of the United Nations as an editor of sustainable development publications. I am a Board Trustee for the Bishop Simeon Trust and has a pervading interest in the role of participatory arts as a tool for youth empowerment. I have worked with communities on a range of impact-oriented projects associated with the University of Leeds AHRC funded project 'Changing the Story', led by Professor Paul Cooke, including filmmaking and arts workshops with young people in South Africa.


  • Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

Research interests

Native American and Indigenous literatures, South African literature, postcolonial and decolonial theory, world literature, Indigenous studies, gender and sexuality, environmental humanities, memory studies


Special issues:

Ed. with Eman Ghanayem, ‘Native American Narratives in a Global Context: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives’, special issue of Transmotion, 5:1, July 2019 


Eman Ghanayem and Rebecca Macklin, ‘Indigenous Narratives: Global Forces in Motion’, Transmotion, 5:1, July 2019 

Unsettling Fictions: Relationality as Decolonial Method’ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, 51:2, April-July 2020 

Natural Violence, Unnatural Bodies: Negotiating the Boundaries of the Human in MMIWG Narratives’, Interventions, October 2020

Reviews, interviews and essays:

Keetsahnak: Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters  eds. Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell and Christi Belcourt, Review, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Spring 2021 (forthcoming)

Walking the Clouds ed. Grace L. Dillon, Review, Postcolonial Studies Association Newsletter, Issue 21, June 2018

‘An Interview with LeAnne Howe’, Wasafiri, May 2017  

Understanding Louise Erdrich by Seema Kudup, Review, Journal of Native American and Indigenous Studies, University of Minnesota Press, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2017

Media coverage:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Comparative Literature, University of Leeds
  • MA in English Literature, University of Leeds
  • BA with Hons in English Literature, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • African Literature Association
  • British Association for American Studies
  • Modern Languages Association
  • Postcolonial Studies Association
  • World Literature Network
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

Student education

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and my teaching practice has been recognized for its commitment to inclusivity. I have taught or lectured on a range of modules at the University of Leeds including:

  • Prose: Reading and Interpretation (English),
  • American Words, American Worlds (English),
  • Reception,Transmission and Translation: The Global Circulation of Literature (LCS)
  • Environmental Challenges (MOOC via Future Learn)

I was previously a Writing Mentor in the School of English for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also acted as tutor to Onondaga high school students during my time at Cornell University, through the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Tutoring Program.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute
  • Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • Environmental Humanities Research Group
  • American Studies Research Group
  • Centre for World Literatures